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Are The Yellow Pages Worth It? Learn How To Measure Your Results

Website Analytics January 20th, 2010



Learn How To Measure Your Results Growing up in the 1980's and as a young man in the 1990's my fondest memories of the Yellow Pages were leafing through trying to find a late night pizza delivery or curry house, calling as many taxi cabs as possible to try and get home before dawn or the rare occasion of panicking trying to find a plumber or other repairman. Nowadays if you ask anyone under the age of 30 what they have used the Yellow Pages for and you might get answers like; as a booster seat; to reach something on a high shelf or possibly as an ultimate test of masculinity, or lack of it!

Before the internet, Yellow Pages had provided an excellent way of ensuring that your business reached into a large number of homes. With the advent of the internet age however, more and more people are turning to the web to research products and services.

Let me clearly state that we are impartial when it comes to advertising channels. At TechWyse our campaign analysts report traffic and conversion data as we see and measure it no matter what the medium.

In our experience there are some businesses that still have a high success rate with the Yellow Pages. These seem to be more trade based. For more specialist and professional services the generations from baby boomers to today’s youth lean on Google rather than let their “fingers do the walking”.

As campaign analysts a frequent question we get asked is:

“How many visits and leads have I received from yellow pages.”

.. and as a measurement expert, here is my answer!

Tracking of Yellow Pages Online Sources

It is very easy to report this on a basic level. All yellow pages traffic from their web site comes in as a referring source.

Yellow Page Results Through Google Analytics

To create this report:

1) Click on Traffic Sources

2) Click on All traffic Sources

3) Scroll down to the containing filters and type “yellow” image

4) Click on the goal tab to understand the number of leads the yellow pages has provided.

Tip – Use the Greasemonkey GARE script created by our friends at ROI Revolution along with Caleb Whitmore to spice up your goal report with actual conversion data rather than just percentages!

This provides you with an idea of how effective the online Yellow Pages sources are being for you. We recommend that you calculate your cost per lead compare to your other traffic sources.

Advanced Yellow Pages tracking

If you really want to understand how effective Yellow Pages in its entirety (visits and calls from the book as well as online sources) then you need to use phone call tracking and a separate website URL or “vanity” domain in your Yellow Pages ad. Lets look at how each works:

Tracking Phonecalls

At TechWyse we have phone tracking as part of our Ultimate Measurement service. This service controls the telephone numbers displayed on your website. It will change according to how a visitor has found you.

By allocating a specific telephone number to Yellow Pages and using this in your ads in the Yellow pages book as well as on your website, you can measure exactly how many telephone calls have come into your business.

Phone Call Tracking Interface

Identifiable URL or Vanity Domain

In order to track the visits to your website from your print ad in the Yellow Pages book we need to use a separate incoming source to separate out these visits. This is not difficult. For TechWyse we use www.techwyse.ca to redirect through to our main .com site.

By looking at the incoming visits from this domain we can see how many visits and leads we have received from our ads.

Measuring Vanity Domains


Using the above techniques we can understand what our Yellow Pages marketing brings us in terms of visits and leads.

Measuring Results

As for all marketing spend the success of the campaign should be assessed in terms of the volume of business it brings to your business. Measuring and comparing cost per lead and return on investment allows you to make data driven decisions on where to allocate budgets for maximum return.

Post By Jon Dyer (26 Posts)

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Jon is the VP of Operations at TechWyse and analyzes everything. This includes your analytics accounts and the difference between Coke and Pepsi. He often shares with us his advanced level knowledge of campaign analysis and Google Analytics.

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Are The Yellow Pages Worth It? Learn How To Measure Your Results

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